For everyday Canadians — the kind looking to save for retirement and university funds, rather than looking to turn $10 million into $20 million — sensible high-return investing has remained intimidating, expensive and elusive, sometimes to the point of being outright inaccessible.

 

 

“People with less to invest are disadvantaged for a number of reasons,” explains Chris Nicola, President of WealthBar. “They often pay much higher fees for advice, they may have to pay a minimum fee, and many investment options are simply not available to investors who can’t make minimum investments of $1 million or more.”

WealthBar is an online financial advisor and wealth manager looking to make those top-tier investing options accessible to Canadians who measure their investments in thousands rather than millions. Through collaboration with their partner, Nicola Wealth Management, WealthBar pools the financial clout of their clients to invest in a mix of rarefied asset classes and low-fee ETFs. It’s a proven diversification across high- quality holdings that offers the unicorn of investing: high returns with low volatility.

“The risk vs. return relationship is an axiom of investment management,” says Tea Nicola, CEO of WealthBar. “However, broad diversification of asset classes can lower the volatility without jeopardizing much of the return. Investing beyond stocks and bonds means that if one asset class in your portfolio experiences a downturn, it will take less of your portfolio down with it.”

Of course, when we talk about volatility in financial markets these days, the first thing that comes to mind is the 2008 financial crisis. During the 2008 crash, the S&P 500 and TSX posted losses of 50 percent and 35 percent respectively. Balanced Canadian mutual fund investors on the whole lost 16 percent, while Nicola Wealth Management clients lost at most 7 percent. That’s the level of strategy and security that WealthBar is now making available to everyday investors.

And, in the age of online wealth management, switching financial advisors no longer needs to be time-consuming or expensive. You can create a financial plan, get a portfolio recommendation, and open your account at no charge in just a few minutes. It’s a tidal shift from the investment gatekeeping of the past, and it’s all upside. It should thus be no surprise when Nicola Wealth Management Chairman and CEO John Nicola says succinctly: “I believe WealthBar represents the future for a large part of wealth management in Canada.”